and putting out to sea from there we sailed under the lee of cyprus, because the winds were against us. and when we had sailed across the open sea along the coast of cilicia and pamphylia, we came to myra in lycia. there the centurion found a ship of alexandria sailing for italy and put us on board. we sailed slowly for a number of days and arrived with difficulty off cnidus, and as the wind did not allow us to go farther, we sailed under the lee of crete off salmone. coasting along it with difficulty, we came to a place called fair havens, near which was the city of lasea. [acts 27:4-8]


at this point in paul’s journey, he must have been quite tempted to doubt God’s call to rome and his promise that he would get him there. the route was perilous, the weather was uncooperative, and the company was unpredictable. he could sit back and turn inward to doubt and discouragement, or he could look back and turn upward with awe and thanksgiving. God had made him a promise, and had already done so much to put this puzzle together. looking back at the ironic pieces, we see that…


  • paul’s citizenship by birth saved his life more than once, a piece of the puzzle put into place even before paul was born. [acts 22:28]


  • paul’s nephew happened to hear of a threat on paul’s life and was able to stop the ambush that would have killed him. [acts 23:16-22]


  • ruler after ruler was so curious about paul’s case that he was able to testify to the good news of Jesus Christ time and time again.


  • paul, who would have been released and probably killed by the jews, was able to appeal to a trial before caesar because of a law put in place long before for roman citizens. since he was in custody, he was able to sail to rome under the protection of his guard. [acts 26:32]


  • paul was allowed his friends to stay with him for the years of his prison ministry and to tend to his needs, one of which was luke, who is recording this entire account for us to read today. [acts 27]



looking back on all the Lord had done over the course of paul’s life, he could trust with confidence and thanksgiving in this calling the Lord had given him.

“Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.” acts 23:11


what promises of the Lord do you tend to doubt? where are you tempted to lack trust and turn inward to doubt and discouragement? what calling looks unlikely to work out, luring you into giving up?


take some time today in the presence of your Father who delivers on all of his promises. look to the cross of Jesus, where all the promises of God find their yes! and amen! in him. thank him for all that he has done, looking back on your life at all of the puzzle pieces he has put together to build your faith and prepare you for the kingdom. he will not withhold from you. you are his chosen and beloved child, and he has proven that by giving up his Son to purchase your life forever.


he who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? [romans 8:32]



~ arwen eastman